Saudi plans for Hajj security, traffic unveiled

Hajj forces for security

:: The government has made great efforts to ensure security and safety for pilgrims coming from all over the globe this Hajj season, said Maj. Gen. Munir Al-Jibril, assistant commander of Hajj forces for security affairs.

He added that security forces have two main tasks: Preventing and confronting crime, and holding perpetrators accountable and assisting in investigations.

The security plan implemented this year will include forces from several departments, each with specific tasks, he said, adding that they will operate according to a clear mechanism that establishes cooperation. Female troops will also operate at the holy sites after undergoing training, he said.

A wide range of new security tools and techniques will be implemented, such as random fingerprint checks on pilgrims who do not have official Hajj permits, as well as chasing and arresting street vendors, Al-Jibril added.

He warned pilgrims against carrying valuables at the holy sites, and urged them to cooperate with security forces and report any suspicious activity by calling 911 immediately.

The assistant commander of Hajj forces for traffic affairs, Maj. Gen. Khaled Al-Dhabiab, said buses have been provided with GPS systems to limit random and unorganized trips.

The commander of security patrols in Makkah, Col. Mohammed Al-Suheimi, said 406 patrols are working around the clock.

Lt. Gen. Bassem bin Amin Al-Badri, director of Makkah traffic, said all measures are being taken to prevent the entry of unauthorized vehicles. So far, 3,040 have been seized in the city, he added.

Civil defense to conduct drills in Makkah, holy sites

The Civil Defense will conduct emergency drills in Makkah and the holy sites as part of a general emergency plan for this Hajj season.

The drills will include simulating a building collapse in central Makkah, a stampede at the end of Sudqi Street near Al-Jamarat Bridge, and a huge fire at Arafat near the train station.

The Civil Defense said the drills are aimed at testing the readiness of staff, vehicles and equipment. There are also daily on-the-job training courses.

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